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The Tale of the Flanaess

 

The world is called OERTH and, in particular, Greyhawk City is found in an area known as the FLANAESS. These lands were populated eons ago, as the great nations west of the Barrier Peaks warred upon one another, driving the peoples east. Currently it is Common Year (CY) 591. The lands are fully settled (or almost so), governments work at governmental mechanization's, and the struggle of Good versus Evil wages on.

'Common' is the main language for the area, but as many different human and demi-human races reside here, one can be sure to find just about any language imaginable. Humans are the most prevalent, but it is not uncommon to find an elf, dwarf, giant, or even orc nearby.

There are 12 months broken into 4 separate seasons. The months are: FIRESEEK, READYING, COLDEVEN, PLANTING, FLOCKTIME, WEALSUN, REAPING, GOODMONTH, HARVESTER, PATCHWALL, READY'REAT AND SUNSEBB.

Each month has 28 days, and as you can tell, are centered around farming. Between each season is a great 7 day festival- GROWFEST, RICHFEST, BREWFEST, and NEEDFEST-, so plan your adventures accordingly!! There are 7 days: STARDAY, SUNDAY, MOONDAY, GODSDAY (a day to worship your deity), WATERDAY, EARTHDAY, and FREEDAY (a day of rest).

The Migrations of the Peoples:
Migrating bands began settling the eastern portion of the OERIK continent-Flannaess-over a millennium ago. The FLAN tribesmen were hardy and capable hunters but not particularly war like, and their small and scattered groups made no real civilizing efforts. The SUEL people, mainly fleeing from the great wars in the Suloise Empire, moved northward through the Kendeen (Harsh) Pass of the southern Crystalmist Mountains (now known as the Hellfurnaces for the active volcanoes) and spread out in all directions. The fierce OERIDIAN tribes also moved east, thrusting aside Flan and Suloise in their path. The Oerid migrations were similar in cause to those of the Suel, in that the BAKLUNISH-SULOISE WARS, and the hordes of Euroz and associated humanoid groups used as mercenaries by both sides, tended to pillage northward and eastward, driving the Oerids before them. When the INVOKED DEVASTATION came upon the Baklunish, their own mages brought down the RAIN OF COLORLESS FIRE in a last terrible curse, reducing the Suloise Empire to what is now the SEA OF DUST. Meanwhile, sufficient numbers of the Baklunish remained to hold the northern plains and maintain their small states against all comers-Euroz(orc), High Jebline(hobgoblin), Jebli(goblin), Celbit(gnoll), and such humanoids alike.

For two centuries the Oerid and the Suel battled each other and the fragmenting humanoid hordes for possession of the central area of the Flannaess, incidentally engaging the FLANNISH and demi-humans. In a few places the two racial stock intermixed-notably in the Sheldomar Valley where, except for the Hold of the Sea Princes, the peoples of the Kingdom of Keoland, Gran March, the Ulek States and nearby petty lands are mixed Oerid-Suel stock. To the far north, four of the strongest and fiercest clans managed to retain large stretches of ground as Suloise. The majority of Suelites were pushed to the extreme south, into the Amedio Jungle, the Tilvanot Peninsula, the Duxchan Island, and even as far as across the narrow Tilva Straits into Hepmonaland.

The success of the Oeridian domination of so much of the Flannae was due in part to their friendliness toward the original demi-human people of the area, whose cooperation greatly strengthened the Oeridians. The willingness of the Flannae to join forces with the Oeridian armies also proved to be a considerable factor. Perhaps the biggest asset to the Oeridians had, however, was the vileness of the Suloise-the majority lied, stole, slew, and enslaved whenever they had inclination and opportunity. There were exceptions, of course, such as the Houses of Rhola and Neheli- late migrants who settled and held the Sheldomar as already mentioned.

The strongest tribes of the Oeridians, the AERDI, settled in the rich fields east of the NYR DYV (the largest fresh water lake known, located in the center of the Flanaess, just north of Greyhawk) and there founded the Kingdom of Aerdy, eventually to be named the GREAT KINGDOM. After several decades of increasing growth, power, and prestige, Aerdy embarked on a series of conquests, the greatest of which was the defeat of the Nyrondal cavalry squadrons at the Battle of a Fortnight's Length. Thereafter, Aerdy was known as the Great Kingdom, whose monarch held sway from the Sunndi swamplands in the South, westward along the shores of the Telfic Gulf and Sea of Yar, to the Nyr Dyv and from thence northward through the Shield Lands and beyond Tenh. The writ of the Overking of Imperial Aerdi eventually extended to Furyon and Voll (now Veluna), across the northern prairies as far as Perrenland. For three centuries the Aerdy held a vast empire which fluctuated in extent but little, until after the third Celestial House (dynasty) when the borders began to close in upon the original territory of Aerdi.

Mixed Oerd-Baklunish nomad bands gradually moved into and laid claim to the steppe lands beyond the Yatil range, pushing eastward as far as the Griff Montains. Border skirmishing with the southern nations was inevitable as these wild horsemen pushed into the Flanaess. Perhaps the civilized states could have stopped their eastward progress had they not been busy fighting with the Aerdi for their independence. Perrenlanders, Velunians, Furyondians and Tehnas achieved success, establishing independent status one after the other in a series of minor but bloody wars.

The ruling Aerdi dynasty, the House of Rax, was at the time sundered by an internal fued and the junior branch, then known as Nyrond, declared its lands free of the rule of the reigning overking and sovereign. The senior branch of the house of Rax, weakened by warfare in the rebellious provinces, was powerless to prevent the move. Determined nonetheless to bring the juniors to their knees, a large force was gathered to suppress the newly independent kingdom, when a coalition of Fruzti, Schnai and mercenary barbarians mounted a major foray into the Aerdian North Province. The overking swung his massed army northeast, and soon the invaders were crushed, but the cost in men and material was high, and the end of the campaigning season arrived before any further action could be taken. Nyrond marshaled its men and grew in strength, so that the following year saw only skirmishes and feints. In 356 CY, Nyrond effectively became a separate and distinct state, violently hostile to its eastern neighbor, and ready to aid any of its foes.

The House of Rax continued to decline, as corruption and decadence roamed through its heart. Slowly, the once-Great Kingdom began losing lands as various rulers declared themselves free from the Overking's rule. In the first half of the fifth century, the House of Naelax overthrew the House of Rax and assumed rulership of the land.

Several lands to the west also removed themselves from the rule of the Great Kingdom. At the same time, The Ulek States, Yeomanry, Bissel and Celene all broke free from the Kingdom of Keoland, As this was happening, humanoid tribes of orcs, goblins and hobgoblins invaded the central mountains known as the Lortmils. In the early fifth century, they were ousted from their homes by the combined dwarven and gnomish armies. By 513 CY, the tribes had been driven into the area known as the Poor March; later the name became known Pomarj. To this day in is the single most humanoid-infested land.

In 582 CY, a great war swept across the Flanaess. Instigated by Iuz, pretending to be a lost Barbarian god, caused the Hold of Stonefist to sweep into and conquer the Duchy of Tehn. At the same time, hordes of giants and other sundry beasts swept into Geoff and Sterich. The Scarlet Brotherhood, discovered in the Tilvanot Peninsula in 573 CY, had secret agents everywhere and on command from the Father of Obedience (as their ruler is called) they struck down many ruling houses in Onwall, Lordship of the Isles and the Hold of the Sea Princes. The Great Kingdom layed siege to her surrounding neighbors, and as a result the Prelacy of Almor was destroyed.

By the wars end, Iuz had savaged nearly all of those lands around him. Gone were the Shield lands, the Bandit Kingdoms were nearly overrun, The Duchy of Tehn was disposed, and Furyondy had lost much territory. The face of the continent had changed drastically. Worse still, the House of Naelax, long infected with unstable rulers, had made pacts with creatures from the depths of the Abyss. As a result, many rulers were 'replaced' by creatures known as Animus. Not to be outdone, Iuz himself also brought forth hosts of demons to aid his armies. Evil had surely won the day.

Since the signing of the Pact which ended the War in 585 CY, much has transpired. A group of hardy adventurers recovered a powerful artifact of good, called the Crook of Rao. With its use, the high priests of Veluna managed to banish many of the dark creatures back to where they came from.

Since then, the Great Kingdom has itself become a shadow of its former self. The Northern Province has renamed itself the Great Northern Kindom, The new rulers of the 'Old' Great Kingdom, not wanting to be associated with the corrupt name of its predecesors, has renamed itself the Kingdom of Ahlissa. Iuz's armies have been pressed back toward his old borders, though he still holds much sway in those lands. The agents of the Scarlet Brotherhood have been sought out, and many lands have begun reclaiming their titles. Geoff and Sterich, now known as the 'Lost Lands, have begun receiving help from their neighbors and bands of adventurers bent on pushing the humanoid hordes back into the mountains.

The year, as stated before, is 591 CY. Much work and exploration remains to be done in the Flanaess. There is a never-ending need for privately funded expeditions and tasks. With all of that, it remains an amazing fact that these lands comprise only, perhaps, 20 percent of the actual world of Oerth! What lies beyond the Solnor Ocean to the East, the Amedio Jungle and Hepmonaland to the South, The Sea of Dust to the West, or the Land of Black Ice to the North lies only in ones imagination! Welcome, then, good traveler, the a land rich in history and possibility. Welcome to the first world created for the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game. Welcome to the World of Greyhawk!

(Note: The above information can be found in the 1983 Boxed Set 'World of Greyhawk' as well as the latest TSR releases Players Guide to Greyhawk and Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins, both 1998.)